Preschool Over-identification in Special Education

Several of our posts emphasize the importance of preschool education to prevent the over-identification of at-risk children for special education placement.  E.g.:

SLPs Can Lead Over-identification Preschool

Prevention Programs

Mr. Chang, swan-goose and friend, Lakeside, Arizona

IMPORTANT CASE

A legal case in Washington, D.C., as reported in the Washington Post by , is related to special education identification issues.

 (http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/education/court-orders-district-to-expand-preschool specialeducation /2011/11/16/ gIQA5NHgSN _story.html)

Blackman v. District

In 1997, according to  IDEA regulations, litigation was brought in Blackman v. The District of Columbia, complaining the District of Columbia schools were not responding to special education referrals in a timely fashion, creating a “backlog” of hearings for eligibility determination.

Initially, progress to eliminate the backlog was made, but then the District slipped back.  In 2003 the United States District Court addressed the backlog problem.  The Implementation Plan provided for an “independent assessment” conducted by Dr. Tom Hehir, a special education expert.

(http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gSk6Ca7r3dQ)

Push-Back

The District has questioned a recent court opinion:

“Chancellor Kaya Henderson pushed back Friday at this week’s federal court ruling that the District has failed to identify and treat adequate numbers of young children with special needs, saying that the District received little credit for substantial progress.”

The court’s involvement resulting from parent complains on behalf of their children has history.

http://www.courthousenews.com/2011/11/21/41619.htm


http://www.ed.gov/news/press-releases/us-department-education-proposes-dedicated-office-early-learning utm_source=asha&utm_medium

November, 2011
“The U.S. Department of Education announced today a proposal to create an Office of Early Learning, tasked with overseeing the Race to the Top-Early Learning Challenge Grants and coordinating early learning programs across the Department.”Effective early learning programs are essential to prepare our children for success in school and beyond,” said U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. “A dedicated early learning office will institutionalize, elevate and coordinate federal support for high-quality early learning, while enhancing support for state efforts to build high-performing early education systems.”
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